Cystography is a diagnostic procedure that uses X-rays to examine the urinary bladder. Still X-ray pictures or fluoroscopy (a study of moving body structures—similar to an X-ray "movie") may be used.
During cystography, contrast dye is injected into the bladder. Contrast refers to a substance taken into the body that causes the particular organ or tissue under study to be seen more clearly. X-rays are taken of the bladder, and fluoroscopy may be used to study the bladder emptying while a person urinates (voiding cystography). Cystography may indicate how well the bladder empties during urination and whether any urine backs up into the kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux).
Reasons for the Procedure
Cystography may be performed to assess the cause of hematuria (blood in the urine), recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs), or to assess the urinary system when there has been trauma to the bladder. Cystography may also be used to assess problems with bladder emptying and urinary incontinence. Obstructions and strictures (narrowing) of the ureters or urethra may be evaluated by cystography.
Cystography may be performed before and/or after certain surgeries of the spine to assess possible problems with the nerves leading to the bladder from the spine. It may also be performed following trauma to assess for a tear in the bladder wall.
- You shouldn't eat after midnight the night before the procedure and drink only clear liquids the day of the procedure. You may be instructed to drink additional clear liquids the day before and day of the procedure
- You may be instructed to take a laxative the night before the procedure. Alternatively, you may be given an enema or a cathartic (medication to induce bowel movements) medication the morning of the procedure.
- Based upon your medical condition, your physician may request other specific preparation.
During the procedure
- You'll be asked to empty your bladder prior to the procedure.
- You'll lie on your back on the X-ray table.
- A catheter will be inserted into your bladder for injection of the contrast dye into the bladder.
- A kidney, ureter, and bladder (KUB) X-ray will be taken to verify that the urinary system is visible.
- The contrast dye will be injected into the bladder through the catheter. After the dye has been injected, the catheter tubing will be clamped to prevent drainage of the dye from the bladder.
- X-rays will be taken while the dye is being injected and afterward. You may be asked to change position for different X-ray views of the urinary system.
- If a voiding cystography is requested, the catheter will be removed and you'll be asked to urinate. X-ray or fluoroscopy films will be taken while you urinate. If you're unable to urinate while lying down, you may be allowed to sit or stand up.
- If a voiding cystography isn't performed, the catheter will be removed after all required X-ray views have been taken.
After the procedure
There is no special type of care required after a cystography. You may resume your usual diet and activities, unless your physician advises you differently.
You should drink additional fluids for a day or so after the procedure to help eliminate the contrast dye from your system and to help prevent infection of the bladder.
MBBS, FCPS, FVIR,
Fellowship in Diagnostic Radiology,
College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan,
Fellowship in Vascular Interventional Radiology
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